Bosch Dishwasher problems !

Hi All
Any dishwasher experts out there - our 3-year-old Bosh is playing silly beggars - and I'm not making any progress in fixing it.....
Background - it's a Bosch Exxcel, runs from our well-water supply via a storage tank in the roof. The water tested slightly high in nirtates - but not sure of the harndess of the water.
Machine worked fine for nealy 3 years. Then, quite suddenly, one day it produced a milky-white deposit on washed items - particularly on glasses. It still seems to clean the items OK - but just leaves this irritating 'film' on the glasses.
We used to use the 3-in-one Tesco tablets - which worked fine until the problem. In an attempt to improve things we're now using separate salt, rinse aid and powder detergent.
Yesterday, in desperation, I used a teaspoon of the cleaning powder that I use in winemaking (as well as the normal dishwasher detergent) - and that produced beautifully clean glasses. Today tried the usual detergent on its own - and we're back to milky glasses again. (FWIW the brewing cleanser contains 5% non-ionic surfactants, 6.5% chlorine-based bleaching agent and 20% phosphates ).
I've found out how to adjust the water softener - and currently have it set to maximum (7) - and rinse aid also set to maximum. We normally wash on the 'auto' setting.
I've checked & cleaned the filters inside the machine - all seems OK, and the machine is emptying OK.
What I can't understand is why it used to work fine - just with the 3-in-one tablets - but now it's very much 'hit & miss' as to whether it leaves the glasses clean or not.... The white film can be wiped off with a dishcloth - but that's not the point
The manual as supplied with the dishwasher is worse than useless, and downright misleading in some parts..... and I'm not sufficiently experienced in dishwashers to know if I'm looking at a component fault / blockage etc - or it it's down to 'user error'....
There seems to be so many variables (water softner setting, rinse aid setting, detergent quantity & type, program setting) - and I'm getting confused / making no progress...
Surely it's not worn out after only 3 years .....?? Heavy hints are being dropped along the lines of 'If it's not doing the job properly then it should be repaced' (think she means the dishwasher....!)
Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved !
Thanks in advance Adrian Suffolk UK
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On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 17:46:50 +0100, Adrian Brentnall <adrian-the papers and the snipped-for-privacy@ambquality.co.uk> wrote:

Try adjusting the salt and rise aid settings from the current max setting to a minimum setting.
Try adjusting one setting at a time and see what happens.
Apart from anything it will help to prove whether the salt and rise aid units are working properly.
Over use of rince aid can particularly cause clouding.
Graham
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Hi Graham
On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 17:10:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@dircon.co.uk wrote:

OK - will do - and I'll keep a note of what happens this time !
So back the rinse aid off to minimum. Check results Then back the softener off to minimum (?leave the rinse aid at minimum ?) Check results
Will report back <g>

Good thought

I didn't know that - thought that it was a case of 'the more the better'..... as I said - I'm not an expert in dishwashers !
Many thanks - I'll have a twidle and report back after a couple of days - we tend to run the beast once a day
Thanks Adrian
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<<<snipped>>>
The white deposits on glass are no fault of your machines. This normally happens to glass when the machine isn't washing with hot enough water. The detergent isn't at fault either, but is the cause of the white salts left on the glasses. Try using a slightly hotter wash when you have glass in the washer, and this should stop the salts being left on the surfaces of the dishes.
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Hi Wallop
On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 17:16:30 GMT, "BigWallop"

Thanks <g>

There is a setting for 'intensive drying' - which 'increases the temperature during the rinse aid stage which gives better drying results' - is that the one ?
How much detergent should I be adding - the detergent 'bin' is marked in 15ml / 25ml and 40ml - but nowhere does it tell you how much you should use.....? Told you I'm not an expert !
On 'auto' wash the temperature is 55 - 65 centigrade, next one 'down' is Eco - which is wash at 50 and rinse aid at 65... don't know which I should be using. Don't normally was pots & pans - normally just plates, cutlery, glasses....
Many thanks for your suggestions - I'll try what the other kind person suggested first and then see if I can do anything about the wash temperature.
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The
on
Wasn't there a very similar thread to this a couple of months back (-ish)? If I were you I would go to Google newsgroups archive and look back through the uk.d-i-y posts as far back as three months to see if you can spot another 'dishwasher-leaving-deposits' type thread.
Andy.
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On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 17:46:50 +0100, Adrian Brentnall <adrian-the papers and the snipped-for-privacy@ambquality.co.uk> wrote:

<stuff snipped>
Hi,
Try running a cycle with dishwasher cleaner and check if there are any filters that need cleaning.
If the softener hasn't been used for ages it might take a while for it to regenerate.
Also try liquid gel detergent, it has similar ingredients to the brewing cleanser you mentioned.
If liquid works well, use the minimum that gives clean dishes, to be kind to your dishwasher and glasses, cutlery etc.
Then try reducing the softener a little as long as cleaning results are maintained.
Have a look at:
<http://www.dishwasher-care.org.uk/
cheers, Pete.
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Hi All
Following up my own post - just for the sake of the achives <g>
On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 17:46:50 +0100, Adrian Brentnall <adrian-the papers and the snipped-for-privacy@ambquality.co.uk> wrote:

Thanks to everybody who made helpful suggestions. I did as suggested - and wound the salt and rinse aid back to minimum - seems as if it's the rinse aid that was causing the white deposits.
Then thought a bit and tested the water hardness (cheap & cheerful kit from Screwfix - never thought of looking there !)
Turns out the water from our well is fairly hard - 21 on the Clarke scale - so set the salt dispenser accordingly. This setting is done by holding down one of the front-panel buttons while turning on the mains power - but it's not the button shown in the Bosch manual - it's the next one along ! Good eh ?
Rinse aid now set at about 2 - scale goes from 1 - 6 - and glasses are 95% perfect. Possibly room for a little more tinkering with settings - but a great improvement on the previous situation.
I'm also using a lot less detergent than before - although I can't seem to find how much 'should' be used - seems to be 'suck it & see'....
Anyway - many thanks for the advice - peace is restored <g>
Adrian Suffolk UK ======return email munged================take out the papers and the trash to reply
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